I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES.
(Scripture Reflection John 15:5)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
As a child, I remember the family gathering to discuss and decide issues that might arise from time to time. There was great commitment to keeping unity and respect for elders intact, and remaining grounded and rooted in our culture.
Paul and Barnabas were appointed to take up some contentious issues that arose in their ministry to new believers (First Reading). So they went to Jerusalem ‘to discuss this question’ (Acts 15:2), and then ‘the apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter’ (Acts 15:6). Even though they had lived with Jesus they needed to consult and be of one mind, because their decision would have far-reaching consequences.
It is essential that we as disciples and teachers of the faith always remember to go back to the true vine, Jesus (Focus), and be rooted in the teachings of the Church, because they have been arrived at after much thought, discussion and discernment.
It is so easy to give in to our ego, go astray and do our own thing! As Christians, we are privileged that we have various opportunities to “abide” (Jn 15:4) or be with Jesus directly – through receiving the Eucharistic, reading the Bible, or adoring the Blessed Sacrament. Similarly we also have Church teachings and tradition.
Fruit: Do I make full use of the sacraments to encounter Jesus in daily life? Do I have a spiritual director whom I can consult in times of doubt?